Updated: Nov 7, 2021
Everyone craves love and affection, a sense of belonging, a place to call home, be secure, and to feel a warm embrace of comfort. Sociology defines human beings as social animals, hence there is nothing wrong for one to desire or expect companionship. This companionship can be found in various forms, but the very essence of it remains the same.
Dating for a trans individual specially women can be extremely hard and exhausting. Hard in terms of finding someone who looks to you, and loves you for you and exhausting in terms of it being an arduously perpetual process of multiple let downs. To add to it dating a trans individual is also life-threatening. As we see many reports of assault, on trans individual in the process of dating. Hence, to sum it all up, dating is very difficult for a trans individual.
I have had my share of letdowns and numerous failed relationships. Where reasons were mostly centered around my dysphoria and toxic masculinity. These were the most prominent reasons. Dysphoria was one of the reasons because I projected my discomfort with my body, towards my partner regardless of them accepting me or not. I could not love myself and therefore could not love my partner. Though he reached out, I could not aid to his need for love from me. And dysphoria births depression, hence a concoction of both lead to a toxic, unhealthy relationship for both. Where both create havoc to maintain a sustainable relationship.
Depression is debilitating not just in regards to the relationship but to oneself. Everything around you and in you goes grey.
The perpetual feeling of overwhelming doom and despair seem to always dissuade you. You get ensnared in pains comfort and solace. All of which is unfortunately projected on your partner. Thereby trapping both in a cobweb of despair.
Further on toxic masculinity dissuades an individual, though attracted to you, to cease all correspondence with you. Doesn’t matter if you pass or not, they will still see you through a lens of social abnormality and not being of the gender you represent. As you do not fit into their cis hetero-normative ideals or constructs. Their rigidity towards conforming to largely accepted social norms restricts them from branching out and exploring the beautiful nuances of nature.
There have been multiples times when an individual who is attracted to me and wants to pursue me, ceases all course of action after me disclosing my trans identity. And sometimes even if he continues to pursue you, do not fall into their enchanting lustful and fetishist trap. As for them, you may be, nothing more than a sexual fantasy, thrill, or experiment. Unfortunately, these are the kind of people you will come across the most.
This new era of dating online has changed the dynamics of dating at large. It has not only broadened the horizon of one's dating pool but also in contrast has brought in a lot of dangerous outcomes. It is what you make of it. A boon for some and bane for others. Dating sites enable freedom for trans people to put themselves out there and be able to find someone who would accept them and cherish them for who they are. But also put them in a compromised situation of being cat-fished. The algorithm of these dating sites is also quite problematic.
As many trans individuals, I have come across have been banned from sites for representing the gender they associate with, because of cis hetero-normative individuals flagging them. As they understand it, from a perspective of being conned. It is truly sad how toxic masculinity or cis hetero-normative norms debilitate them from accepting who they are attracted to and thereby disabling themselves from venturing into a beautifully diverse world.
As this issue was brought into notice, some of the dating sites have corrected their algorithm and also made their websites more inclusive. By giving various options of choosing one's gender, to your sexual orientation, and many more similar options.
Dating can also be life-threatening to a trans individual. As we see so many reports of trans individuals being murdered and physically harmed by their partners or the ones they go out on a date with. This is a systemic issue due to the cis hetero-normative societal norms or understandings. What they fail to realize is that gender, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, all of which have always been diverse and vast. And not limited to the prevalent understandings of binaries and monotonously rigid structures of who one should and should not like, or what one has to behave or not behave as.
The sooner we deconstruct these rigid and debilitating ideals and constructs, is when we move towards a more beautiful and inclusive world for all to live in. Which will take some time, but rest assured, we are getting there. One step at a time. Your existence, itself is a dagger to these constructs. Till then, do what can be done and solve what can be solved. Like accepting yourself, and learning how to love yourself, in order for someone else to love you.
Don’t let go or ruin what you have due to your own insecurities.
Seek professional help, work on your self-esteem issues and any repressed conflicts that are enabling an undesired behavioral outcome. Tackle those cognitive distortions of yours (Eg; I do not like my body), by grounding yourself in rational thinking (Eg; If he already knows about my insecurities and is still there for me regardless of it, that means, my insecurities are not his insecurities.
Also, practice as many safety measures of dating as possible. In my experience, it is always good to be open about your identity to your partner or interest. As it brings more clarity and freedom to move on to your next interest and also protects you from any futuristic harmful situations. Also going to populated places on your first dates, carrying pepper spray and having a friend on standby, and many more such measures should be taken to ensure your safety.
Finally, don’t lose hope, there is someone out there for everyone maybe that someone is just around you right now being a real good friend.
All good things happen in due time. Do not settle for anything less than what you desire. You are worthy of love just as much as anyone else. It may get frustrating and annoying sometimes, don’t let the naysayers clip your wings but keep at it, spread out your beautiful wings, and fly. Soon you will find your perfect one
Love and Light